Setting the Record Straight With Mario 

A clarification

A clarification

The Aug. 8, 1996 edition of the Scene contained a review of Mario’s Ristorante, written by Kay West, the Scene’s restaurant reviewer. The Scene is happy to clear up any confusion that may have arisen regarding several statements made in that review.

Readers may have drawn a conclusion from one statement in the review that pork is substituted for veal at Mario’s, as the Scene reported in 1992, and which was at the time disputed by Mario’s. The Scene has no evidence, nor did it state or intend to imply, that such a practice is presently occurring at Mario’s.

Readers may have concluded from another statement in the review that a wine list was not presented to the reviewer on her first visit to Mario’s. There is a wine list of 39 wines on the menu at Mario’s, and the menu (including this list) was presented to the reviewer. There is a separate book (known as the Captain’s List) which depicts Mario’s extensive wine collection. The Captain’s List is only presented to Mario’s customers upon request, and the Captain’s List was presented to the reviewer when she requested it.

It was stated in the review of Mario’s restaurant that “the wine prices [at Mario’s] are consistently $10 a bottle higher than at other restaurants in town.” The comparison made by the reviewer included several other restaurants, not just the upscale Mobil 3-star restaurants such as Mario’s. If the reviewer’s comparison had been limited only to 3-star restaurants which offer the same amenities as Mario’s, it would not be true that Mario’s wine prices are consistently higher than those of the other 3-star restaurants in Nashville. In some cases, Mario’s wine prices are lower than the prices at other 3-star restaurants.

The review contained the following statement: “The wine prices, exorbitant to begin with, had magically increased again by the time they appeared on our bill.” It was not the Scene’s intention to imply any dishonesty by Mario’s, nor did the Scene believe there was any dishonesty whatsoever on the part of anyone at Mario’s in calculating the bill. The prices of wine at Mario’s are clearly set out on the wine list. Whatever differences may exist as to the correct amount of the reviewer’s bill were never said or understood by the Scene to be attributable to anything other than ordinary human error resulting from honest confusion as to which wines were ordered.

It was stated in the review of Mario’s that the reviewer paid $500 for the “meal” consumed by her party of five persons on her first visit to Mario’s. In fact, the bill consisted of two components. The cost of the food (without tax) was $246, and the cost of the wine and other alcoholic beverages (without tax) was $250.50. The Scene’s use of the word “meal” in this context was intended to include both food and drink. On the second night the reviewer visited Mario’s, with her guest, she reported in the review that their “bill” was $147. Her party of two had a bill of $75 (without tax) for the food and a bill of $66 (without tax) for the wine and other alcoholic beverages.

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